The researchWhen should you upgrade if you have an older iPhone? A great all-around package: iPhone 13Small enough for most pockets: iPhone 13 kecilThe biggest iPhone with the best cameras: iPhone 13 Pro MaxIf you’re on a budget: iPhone SE (2nd generation)What if you’re switching from Android? Other good iPhonesThe competition
When should you upgrade if you have an older iPhone?
Our general philosophy about upgrading (as described by Wirecutter’s founder) is that if you’re happy with what you have, you don’t need the latest and greatest. Last year’s iPhone or the one before that (or even the one before that) should continue to serve you well. New phones tend to offer incremental upgrades—they’re not revolutionary products that change the experience. Apple still issues security updates to older devices, and iOS 15 still supports every iPhone from 2015 on; even four-plus years later, older phones are getting new features.
If you have an older phone that’s beginning to feel slower, you may want to check the battery’s health. A battery with depleted capacity can slow down your phone due to power-conservation features. If the iOS Battery Health screen shows the status “Performance management applied” or “Battery health degraded,” consider having Apple replace the battery (which can cost up to $69 out of warranty) rather than investing in a new phone.
A great all-around package: iPhone 13
Photo: Sarah KobosOur pick
Apple iPhone 13 (128 GB)A full-featured iPhoneThe iPhone 13 has a fantastic two-lens camera that can use Night Mode for impressive low-light photos, plus a plenty-fast processor, long battery life, and a large edge-to-edge OLED screen.
The iPhone 13 is a great phone for almost anyone. It offers many of the same features as the more expensive and identically sized iPhone 13 Pro contoh does, and it has similar all-day battery life, excellent cameras that include Night Mode for low-light photos, and a large screen in a not-too-large body. Compared with the more affordable iPhone SE, the iPhone 13 offers a longer-lasting battery, a larger screen, a better camera system, a faster processor, and an arguably nicer overall design. If you’re considering the iPhone 13 Pro, the main improvement in that model is a third camera lens and small enhancements to the other two; the improved camera system mainly offers better pictures in low-light conditions but otherwise doesn’t affect how the phone works most of the time and isn’t worth the big jump in price for most people.
On the iPhone 13, most people should get the base 128 GB of storage—paying another $100 for 256 GB is probably overkill. If you’re considering the maxed-out 512 GB version because of your usage patterns, you might be better off with an iPhone 13 Pro.
Apple’s iPhone processors have always been fast—by some measurements, speedier than those of many laptops—and the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 continues that trend. We’ve rarely run into any speed problems on any iPhone over the past few years, and the increasingly faster speeds are almost academic at this point. It’s reductive to say “any terkini iPhone is fast enough,” but, well, any terbaru iPhone is fast enough. The iPhone 13 has one fewer graphics-processing core than the iPhone 13 Pro, a difference that Apple says will result in about 30% slower speeds. But it’s still a bit faster than the iPhone 12, where we never ran into graphics-processing issues.
The taller camera module on the iPhone 13 makes the phone wobbly when you set it face up. A case will help prevent the lenses from scuffing or scratching on tables. Photo: Sarah Kobos
In our experience, the battery life on the iPhone 13 easily got us through a full day. Even with a heavy day of playing Pokémon Go (a notorious battery hog) and live-tweeting Sunday-afternoon football, I was just about able to reach the end of the day before seeing the phone dip below 10% battery. If you don’t want to or can’t top off during the day, the iPhone 13’s extra battery life compared with that of older or smaller iPhones can mean the difference between being able to use your phone into the evening or worrying about it going dead.
Our favorite camera feature on the iPhone 13—and a reason to seriously consider it over the iPhone SE—is Night Mode. Through a combination of longer exposure time and aplikasi processing, it allows you to take legitimately good photos at night or in other dark settings. Shots that previously would have been unusable now look good or even great, even with shockingly low light. The Pro versions have an added lidar sensor and wider-aperture lenses that let more light in, and we found that their Night Mode photos looked a little sharper and reproduced colors better. But what the iPhone 13 can do is impressive for capturing a shot you wouldn’t have been able to in the past, even if the Pro and Pro Max do it a little better.
The iPhone 13, like the iPhone 12 and 11 before it, has a main 12-megapixel wide-angle camera lens and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, the latter of which lets you capture more of a scene. They’re now arranged diagonally instead of stacked vertically (the iPhone 13 doesn’t have a telephoto zoom lens like the iPhone 13 Pro does). Apple says the wide camera—the main camera for most shots—has a larger sensor that lets more light in. Most of the shots we took were pretty comparable between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13, especially in good lighting, but if you were to look closely at shots side by side, you might catch some differences.
Physical-size comparison of iPhonesScreen size HeightWidthThicknessWeightiPhone 8/SE4.7″5.45″dua.65″0.29″lima.22 ouncesiPhone 126.1″5.78″2.82″0.29″lima.78 ouncesiPhone 12 mini5.4″5.18″dua.53″0.29″4.76 ouncesiPhone 136.1″lima.78″2.82″0.30”6.14 ouncesiPhone 13 mini5.4″lima.18″dua.53″0.30″4.97 ouncesiPhone 13 Pro6.1″5.78″2.82″0.30″7.19 ouncesiPhone 13 Pro Max6.7″6.33″tiga.07″0.30″8.46 ounces
The iPhone 13 is larger than the iPhone 13 minior iPhone SE, and it may be hard to use one-handed for anyone with smaller hands.
One of Apple’s flagship features for the iPhone 13 lineup is Cinematic Mode. This video setting dynamically changes the focus in your shots, automatically swapping between what’s in the foreground and the background based on factors such as whether the person in front is looking at the camera. Even more impressive: The mode allows you to change the focus after the fact, because all the depth data is stored in the video arsip. We found that the feature works (as long as you have good light; it struggles in low light), and it’s undeniably neat. But we also think it’s more of a party trick than something most people are likely to use with any sort of regularity. It’s the kind of thing you might use when shooting a film, and if you’re creating video content for an online audience, you may find a good use for it—just less so for home movies. Apple has also added new presets to the camera, called photographic styles, that allow you to use different color tone and warmth levels without altering skin tones.
The iPhone 13 is the same height and width as the iPhone 12, with the same 6.1-inch (diagonal) screen. Photo: Sarah Kobos
The iPhone 13 has the same-size, 6.1-inch screen as the iPhone 12 in an almost identical body; the new phone is 0.01 inch (0.25 mm) thicker, but the same height and width. The body is squared off much like that of the iPhone 4 and lima, and this design feels great. We’ve found the iPhone 13 to be much easier to grip than the iPhone X, XS, or 11, even when the phone is not in a case. The flat screen edges take a bit of getting used to if you’re coming from rounded edges, but ultimately the design is an improvement, and it should make a screen protector, if you choose to use one, easier to install. We also like the body-color options: Apple is offering a traditional black color, now called midnight, as well as blue, pink, and red versions that look quite nice, plus a merk-new color called starlight that’s a silver tinted with bronze.
The iPhone 13’s OLED screen is a higher-quality display than that of the iPhone SE, with a resolution of 2532×1170 pixels. OLED provides better contrast and blacker blacks than LCD because pixels on an OLED display emit their own backlight, which can completely turn off while a pixel is displaying blacks; on an LCD, a single panel lights all of the pixels at once, regardless of the color each individual pixel is displaying. And the iPhone 13 has a higher maximum brightness level than the iPhone 12 at 800 nits (the unit of measurement for display brightness) versus 625 nits, but that isn’t something you’d notice unless you were comparing the screens side by side.